US bill looks to stop US govt from working with Huawei, ZTE

Monday 15 January 2018 | 09:09 CET | News

A new bill has been introduced to Congress to prohibit any part of the US government from working with Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei and ZTE. Republican Congressman Mike Conaway, who introduced the bill, said Chinese commercial technology was a "vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on United States federal agencies, posing a severe national security threat".  

The bill builds on past action against Huawei and ZTE, which included a ban on ZTE selling products to US government agencies in 2013. A further proposal put forth last year aimed to restrict the Pentagon from buying equipment from Chinese or Russian telecommunications. Last year, ZTE was fined over USD 1 billion after admitting it violated US-Iran sanctions by shipping product from the US to Iran. The US Commerce Department is also looking into Huawei’s business dealings in Syria, Cuba, Iran and Sudan.

More recently, AT&T dropped plans to sell Huawei smartphones, with sources saying the move was made following political pressure. ZTE said last week it hoped to launch a 5G smartphone in the US by early 2019.

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